Home. But missing something…

I’ve made it to the beloved city, CAPETOWN, which inspired this adventure. Yet my emotions are very mixed and confused.  Dare I say it, I’ve felt a strong sense of homesickness for the first time since Tanzania. I didn’t think it was possible in SA but I think the constant change and the typical backpacker in SA is getting to me. Just when I’m at the top of the peak, down I go into an emotional spiral into the valley.  I want cozy. I want cool and intersting people. I want a decent conversation. I want to be able to relate to someone else.

Then I remind myself I have my lows in CA and what do I do?  But I try and make the best of it. I deal with it and hope for a better day.  The only difference is, I at least have my mom to hug when I’m feeling down or alone. If and when I return, I don’t even have the comforts of friendship as most of you have already fled elsewhere. So what’s the difference if I’m here or in SF? Only my comforts of home. Which may be just what I need but home is oh so terrifying.  Not my actual home but to go home and to attempt to restart again just seems like a good movie gone bad. Rat race, shitty economy, working  lots, and having to make friends from the ground up. A new challenge.  Maybe one just as difficult as being on the road alone.

How will I know when it’s time? When you have no destination when is it the end of the road? When do I know it’s time to stop, relax and restart a new journey. Time will tell, right?

After leaving J-bay and the wonderful cozy home away from home backpackers I got a ride in a Landrover ready to explore southern and eastern Africa with an Israeli guy, Erez and pitched in lots of money  for the petrol guzzler.  We arrived in Stormsriver, part of Tsitsikamma national park and a few more KM’s away the highest bungy jump in the world at 216 meters or 713 feet. I didn’t like the “big, pack as many people  that pass through backpackers” so changed a day later to one that felt slightly more homey but still not quite right. The staff was ok but not too helpful.

Erez, I and two other gals went on a short hike along the shore line to a waterfall. The hike wasn’t too bad but I was sore that afternoon as we were trampling along lots of boulders and using muscles that haven’t been worked since my last hike a month ago.  beautiful scenery. Turns out this national park in SA has a 5 day hike where you have to get permits a year in advanced because the trail is so well known and popular. I assume it equates to the grand canyon in terms of having to book so far in advanced.

The following day I planned a lazy day but was too curious not to watch bungy jumpers take the leap so I went and had a look. Four gals from the backpackers went and were terrified and unsure if they’d actually jump but I was happy I had an excuse- two metal rods fused to the spin don’t like to be jolted in the way a bungy will. I took a zipline to the bungy drop zone, which was way too short of a ride and enjoyed watching everyone jump. If I could, I know I would have. 4 seconds of fun isn’t worth a lifetime of pain, so watching was satifsying enough.

I was contemplating how I would leave Stormsriver. THe vibe wasn’t great and you really need a car to go anywhere from there or ride the baz bus but I’m boycotting the darn convenince shuttle. I thought I might go to WIlderness a foresty area on the coast, which I had only passed through 3 years ago but when I found out the baz bus charged 300 Rand ( $35) for a 2 hr ride, I said, hell with it.  I could have taken the coach bus(has bathroom on board, lots of room) or gotten a ride with the Israeli guy but it would have cost me 4x as much to ride with him so straight to Capetown I went. 

SInce leaving J-bay I’ve been in a funk-

1.uncozy place in stormsriver

2.trying to Couchsurf but everyone is busy hosting (so I keep emailing others)

3.$200+ stolen from my money belt- bad karma for the thief right? I think so.

4. getting bed bugs or something of the sort and feeling really itchy all over. (went to the pharmacy and got cream as my bendryl wasn’t working and antihistimine pill or something like that)

5.not meeting many people I can relate to- it’s always new faces and new places but same old story.

  I ask where are all the inspiring and interesting people? I’m certainly not meeting them. This is why I’ve been looking forward to Couchsurfing as there is a better chance of meeting like minded people. You’d think I’d meet plenty in hostels but most are on their comfy RTW trip with a friend in search of partying till they can’t drink anymore and cramming in as much stuff in a day without really getting to know or undestand a place. It’s not my travel style.

 

I’ve spent my first day in Capetown roaming a few familiar streets. A smile crosses my face as it feels surreal to be here. 3 years later and I’m back to a place I promisec myself I’d come back to. I can make anything happen. Now, that’s an empowering feeling!

I went to a hip cafe that I remember enjoying last time, read the newspaper and secretly wished I could meet other locals, make friends. I’m so eager to reach out but how do you do it when you’re new in town. I pretend as if I’m going to stay a while, how would i start to network. I’m not quite sure. Couchsurfing is an option but so far, well I haven’t emailed the right people becasue their all busy hosting. I want to take dance classes, make jewerly, do things I’d do at home. be creative.

 

I checked the surrounding backpackers in search of a home away from home feel but 5 backpackers later, I haven’t found quite the place. Apparently, backpackers near Long St are all slack in terms of comfy, cozy and super clean.  Long St is the spot for pubs, bars, restaurants and shops. Noisy at night. So I’ll stay another night here and then move to a place 15 minutes away or something like that. Time to start walking and learning the routes of minibus taxis, you know. Try to be a local for the next 3 weeks and see if I have any inspiration for potential possibilities in a month or three months time.

 

Sending my love and hoping for a more uplifted entry next time… otherwise, well I’m planning on a super stoked entry or I don’t want to think about it.

Love,

Lauren

 

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One thought on “Home. But missing something…

  1. Wish I could give you a mountain of hugs today. Missing you on Mother’s day. It’s tough for me to hear how difficult things are for you. Hug, Hug! I’m always amazed how brave you are. Most people would have been on a plane home months ago, difficulties and discomforts propelling them toward familiar territory. But you’ve stuck with your dream to see the real Africa, learning how to adapt to their local ways (new languages, new currencies, new customs, inconvenient and uncomfortable transport, learning how to fend off and discourage aggressive behavior in men, seeing how a culture is corrupted by the “hand outs’ of foreigners, dealing with corruption and witnessing unjust treatment to innocent people, continually adjusting to new surroundings and to new people, figuring out what to do next on a daily basis and getting robbed! I can only imagine it’s a lot to take it.
    You’ve experienced a lot, my dear, in a very short time (AND ALL ON YOUR OWN!). I’m so proud of you, I’m so proud you are my daughter!

    Love,
    Mom

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